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See also: SMART



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English smerten, from Old English smeortan (to smart), from Proto-Germanic *smertaną (to hurt, ache), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)merd- (to bite, sting). Cognate with Scots smert, Dutch smarten, German schmerzen, Danish smerte, Swedish smärta.


smart (third-person singular simple present smarts, present participle smarting, simple past smarted or (obsolete) smort, past participle smarted or (obsolete) smorten)

  1. (intransitive) To hurt or sting.
    After being hit with a pitch, the batter exclaimed "Ouch, my arm smarts!"
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula Chapter 21
      He moved convulsively, and as he did so, said, "I'll be quiet, Doctor. Tell them to take off the strait waistcoat. I have had a terrible dream, and it has left me so weak that I cannot move. What's wrong with my face? It feels all swollen, and it smarts dreadfully."
  2. (transitive) To cause a smart or sting in.
    • T. Adams
      A goad that [] smarts the flesh.
  3. To feel a pungent pain of mind; to feel sharp pain or grief; to suffer; to feel the sting of evil.
    • Alexander Pope
      No creature smarts so little as a fool.
    • Bible, Proverbs xi. 15
      He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it.
    • 1790, Ann Ward Radcliffe, chapter 11, A Sicilian Romance[1], edition HTML:
      Meanwhile the Abate exulted in successful vengeance, and the marquis smarted beneath the stings of disappointment.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English smart, smarte, smerte, from Old English smeart (smarting, smart, painful), from Proto-Germanic *smartaz (hurting, aching), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)merd- (to bite, sting). Cognate with Scots smert (painful, smart), Old Frisian smert (sharp, painful).


smart (comparative smarter, superlative smartest)

  1. Causing sharp pain; stinging.
    • Shakespeare
      How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience.
  2. Sharp; keen; poignant.
    a smart pain
  3. Exhibiting social ability or cleverness.
    • 1811, Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility, chapter 19
      I always preferred the church, and I still do. But that was not smart enough for my family. They recommended the army. That was a great deal too smart for me.
  4. Exhibiting intellectual knowledge, such as that found in books.
  5. (often in combination) Equipped with intelligent behaviour.
    smart bomb, smart car
    smartcard, smartphone
  6. Good-looking.
    a smart outfit
  7. Cleverly shrewd and humorous in a way that may be rude and disrespectful.
    He became tired of his daughter's sarcasm and smart remarks.
    • Young
      Who, for the poor renown of being smart / Would leave a sting within a brother's heart?
    • Addison
      a sentence or two, [] which I thought very smart
  8. Sudden and intense.
    • Clarendon
      smart skirmishes, in which many fell
    • 1860 July 9, Henry David Thoreau, journal entry, from Thoreau's bird-lore, Francis H. Allen (editor), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, 1910), Thoreau on Birds: notes on New England birds from the Journals of Henry David Thoreau, Beacon Press, (Boston, 1993), page 239:
      There is a smart shower at 5 P.M., and in the midst of it a hummingbird is busy about the flowers in the garden, unmindful of it, though you would think that each big drop that struck him would be a serious accident.
  9. (US, Southern, dated) Intense in feeling; painful. Used usually with the adverb intensifier right.
    He raised his voice, and it hurt her feelings right smart.
    That cast on his leg chaffs him right smart.
  10. (archaic) Efficient; vigorous; brilliant.
    • Dryden
      The stars shine smarter.
  11. (archaic) Pretentious; showy; spruce.
    a smart gown
  12. (archaic) Brisk; fresh.
    a smart breeze
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English smerte, from smerten (to smart). See above. Cognate with Scots smert, Dutch smart, Low German smart, German Schmerz, Danish smerte, Swedish smärta. More above.


smart (plural smarts)

  1. A sharp, quick, lively pain; a sting.
  2. Mental pain or suffering; grief; affliction.
    • Milton
      To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart.
    • Spenser
      Counsel mitigates the greatest smart.
  3. Smart-money.
  4. (slang, dated) A dandy; one who is smart in dress; one who is brisk, vivacious, or clever.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Fielding to this entry?)





smart f, m (plural smarten)

  1. pain, sorrow, grief

Derived terms[edit]




  1. clever (mentally sharp or bright)

This Norwegian entry was created from the translations listed at clever. It may be less reliable than other entries, and may be missing parts of speech or additional senses. Please also see smart in the Norwegian Wiktionary. This notice will be removed when the entry is checked. (more information) August 2009




smart (comparative smartare, superlative smartast)

  1. smart; clever